November 6, 2015
Thai rotten rice as livestock feed
Oversupply of rice that has resulted in the rotting of around 2 million metric tonnes has sent concerned Thai authorities to thinking of selling the spoiled grains for use as livestock feed, as well as suggesting the planting of soy in lieu of rice.
The Thai Cabinet, in a meeting Tuesday, November 3, said rice farmers would be asked to switch to other crops such as soybean, but not corn, because of water shortage, which is expected to become more acute next year, the Bangkok Post reported.
The Cabinet also agreed that corn farmers will also be asked to grow less because of oversupply.
Meanwhile, in a grain and feed update report released Wednesday, November 4, the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service said that rotten rice stocks were found to have increased after a quality re-inspection conducted in September and October.
It said some of the rotten rice, which totalled 2 million metric tonnes, might be sold for feed or ethanol production this month and in December.
"Sources expect that the government is likely to sell around 500,000–700,000 metric tonnes of this rice to local small-scale feed mills at around 7,000 baht (US$198) per metric tonne or to ethanol plants at around 3,000 baht ($85) per metric tonne if mycotoxin is over the maximum limits for feed", the report said.
The Government announced that it is holding rice stocks of around 13 million metric tonnes, but the USDA-FAS/Bangkok estimate is only10.7 million metric tonnes, or a difference of 2.3 million metric tonnes. FAS/Bangkok cites reports that government estimates may include rice that is unaccounted for in the 2010-2013 pledging programs.
For marketing year 2015-16, rice production is forecast by USDA-FAS to decrease by 15% to 16.4 million tonnes compared with that in MY 2014-15, due to drought in the northern region and central plains.
The government is banning off-season rice cultivation due to limited water supplies. The Royal Irrigation Department said it won't authorise irrigation stations to supply water for the off-season rice crop.
Water supplies for all uses during the dry season (November 2015-April 2016) are 35% lower than in 2014 and 64% lower than the 10-year average, according to the USDA-FAS report.-Rick Alberto